SWC Forestry Awards 2017

2017 Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South
Friday 12 May 2017 saw another outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand. The function was the 2017 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards.

The Council, representing all major forest owners and most of the major wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2017 Awards programme in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz.

In addition to profiling the contribution that forestry and those working within the industry are making to the economic and social well-being of the region, the night was really designed to celebrate the success of those that had achieved formal training qualifications over the year. Through a series of nine major awards, the event also recognised the forest industry’s top performers from across the lower South Island.

The industry certainly rallied on the night. Like the previous two years, around 350 forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attended the awards evening at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium. This is the third major annual awards programme held in Dunedin. Support for the event and numbers turning out from across the region continue to be high every year.

“The turnout by forestry workers, their families and supporters on the night is probably a true reflection on the momentum that’s been building over the last year or so with on-site training and safety in this region” says Grant Dodson, Chairman of the Southern Wood Council. “In addition to recognising the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months, the industry was able to come together at one place to celebrate the industry along with training and business success.”

Presenters and speakers at this year’s awards evening include; Jamie MacKay, Host of NZ’s New Zealand’s flagship rural radio show, The Country, Hon. Louise Upston, Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety, Wiremu Edmonds, Director and Safety Champion, Tuakiri Ltd, Fiona Kingsford, CEO, Competenz and guest speaker Warren Alcock, the NZ Rugby Players Association‘s first accredited players agent (representing more than 80 All Blacks including Ritchie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith).

Around 120 National Training Certificates that had been achieved in Forestry & Wood Processing were awarded to top local contractors and forestry and wood processing employees. In addition, nine major industry awards were presented to:

AwardSponsorWinner
Training Excellence Award - Apprentice of the YearSouthern Wood CouncilRyan Spillane, MJ Logging
Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (harvesting)Rayonier/ Matariki ForestsMartin Gordon-Glassford, Griffin Logging
Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (silviculture)Dynes TransportRussell Te Ngahue, X-Men
Skilled Professionals Awards – Forestry Excellence Award (establishment, silviculture, fire, harvesting)South Wood ExportAlistair McKenzie, Johnson Forestry Services
Skilled Professionals Awards – Wood Processing Excellence AwardUDCRodney Lonneker, Pankhurst Sawmilling
Skilled Professionals Awards – Forest Products/Logistics/Transport/Port AwardOil ImportsDesiree Hollister, C3
Industry Excellence Awards – Forestry Environmental Management Excellence AwardOtago Regional CouncilHeavyweight Hire
Industry Excellence Awards - Training Company/Contractor of the YearCity ForestsShane Griffin, Griffin Logging
Industry Excellence Awards - Forest Products Health & Safety Award Ernslaw OneBarry Wells, Port Blakeley
Tree Faller Certification – Otago SouthlandTen certificates for Professional Tree Faller Certification, a scheme that has been implemented in the Otago/Southland region were also awarded.

Congratulations go to all the winners, the nominees, their employers and families. This year’s awards programme with strong support from the wider industry, supporting organisation’s and major equipment and product suppliers has again been another important milestone for the forestry industry in the lower South Island. It’s firmly established now as the major fixture each year on the local forestry calendar.